Former Winnipeggers In Calgary Golf For Charity

This month in Calgary,a unique golf tournament is taking place that is going to end up benefiting the Rady JCC.

Calgary’s “Winnipeg Club” is putting on its 1st annual golf tournament with monies raised going to several Winnipeg and Calgary charities. About 32 of the 144 people on the tournament teams are from Winnipeg.

The menu for the tournament’s luncheon will include Winnipeg and Calgary favourites. Winnipeg’s Salisbury House (“Sal’s”) owner, Earl Barish will be at the tournament to help out, and Tony Spoletini of Calgary’s Spolumbo’s, will be serving up deli foods.

Club President, Don Jakul, a former Winnipegger now residing in Calgary said, “I’m not sure who’s more excited about this event – me or Earl Barish.” The club’s 32 like-minded members grew up in a unique historical era.

“Our friends, neighbours, and teachers were mostly immigrants,” said Jakul. “Many were from Eastern Europe, many were Holocaust survivors, and others had fled the horrors of WW II.

“They were hard working and dedicated, looking to live in peace, raise a family, and have a better life.” Jakul described the club members as “truly multicultural products of our upbringings. We’ve set our goals high, hoping to create a golf event that becomes legendary. And, like our families before us, we strive to make a better life for all.”

Arriving in Alberta in 1979 and Calgary in 1989, Jakul said everywhere he goes he keeps running into people from Winnipeg. All of these Winnipeg-born Calgarians remember “the good old days” in Winnipeg. Jakul named a few favourites like Kelekis, Sal’s, Falcon Lake, and Winnipeg Beach.

“The North End Sal’s used to be our hangout,” he said. Jakul said he has always maintained strong ties with the Jewish Community in Winnipeg, after having grown up living just a few blocks away from the Talmud Torah.

“Growing up my sister, Linda, thought there were only two kinds of people – Jewish and Ukrainian,” he said. “In the North End, there was never any animosity. We all cared for each other.” Like the other ex-Winnipeggers in the club, Jakul said, “I left Winnipeg with no prejudices against anyone, except for maybe those who are lazy.” The club was formed to bring together business people to network and recollect growing up in Winnipeg, and plans to fundraise for Calgary and Winnipeg charities. There is no fee to be a member.

“We want to have long-term associations with these charities, and the main focus is to help children and seniors,” said Jakul. There are only four team spots left to be filled for the golf tournament (with 36 teams as the original goal). The only club member who is not a Winnipeg native is Calgaryborn, Bill Lister. Yet, in no way does this diminish his passion for the Manitoba capitol. His late father, Jack, was a proud ex-Winnipeg lawyer.

Barish and Jakul are working on arranging for Mayor of Winnipeg, Sam Katz (or Barish on behalf of Katz), to present Lister with an honorary City of Winnipeg citizenship at the tournament. According to Barish and Jakul, there are about half a dozen Jewish club members, including Brian Silver, Earl Adleman, and Ross Caplan from Tuxedo (the group refers him to as “the only true white man” because while the others all grew up in the North End, Caplan was raised in Tuxedo).

“These are people who have done well and want to give back to the community,” said Barish. “They might have left Winnipeg, but no one really ever leaves it behind.”Barish first heard about the club and tournament when the group contacted him about having Sal’s food at the tailgate luncheon at the tournament.

“This club is all about people who love Winnipeg getting together to give charity,” said Barish. “Almost all the club members do business with Jewish business people, and want to give back for all they do.” About $2000-$2500 will be donated to each designated charity. Since many of the club members are former Winnipeg YMHA members,
some of the proceeds will go to the Rady JCC and the Calgary JCC.

“We are thrilled to be a beneficiary …The funds we receive will be directed to those programs that are key to our mission and benefit our community, be that cultural programs, programs for children, or programs for youth,” said Gayle Waxman, executive director of the Rady JCC.

Waxman added, “The organizers of the tournament embody the values that so characterize the members of our community, and the Rady JCC is very grateful.” Calgary’s Jeff Booke, JCC Executive Director, said, “What this club is doing is pretty amazing. A big part of our role is raising funds, and when people like these come forward, it’s very meaningful. “It’s pretty awesome that we have this group of Winnipeggers who have started up this group in Calgary.”

For more information on Calgary’s Winnipeg Club, visit

Calgary club unites Winnipeggers in city

There are many successful business people here from Manitoba, who have much pride in their roots, and a nucleus has banded together to form The Calgary Winnipeg Club.

Back in 1983, a social club of ex-Winnipeggers named after the Manitoba parliament building's Golden Boy was formed, but it soon fizzled out. The new one is being organized not only as a means of bringing together businessmen to network and reminisce about growing up in the Manitoba capital but intends to fund-raise for both Calgary and Winnipeg charities.

It's been talked about for some time but thanks to the encouragement of Calgary-born Bill Lister of Securfund to "just do something about it," the new Calgary Winnipeg Club has been formed. Lister will be named its first honorary member out of respect for his interest and in memory of his late father Jack, a proud ex-Winnipeg lawyer.

Club president is Don Jakul, principal of PHH ARC Environmental, which for decades has been providing clients with services and training in the environmental, and health and safety fields.

It's a cross-country network of four regionally owned companies known as the Pinchin Group, staffed by more than 400 skilled and experienced professional engineers, scientists, industrial hygienists, geologists, technologists and project managers.

The current president lives in Vancouver, where its headquarters is located but payroll and human resources functions are administered out of Calgary.

Jakul has a staff of 40 in Calgary, who have been busy here for the past 25 years involved in upstream oil and gas, industrial hygiene, hazardous materials, health and safety, and commercial real estate.

PHH ARC was contracted to demolish the Penny Lane complex, remove and maintain air containment of its hazardous material, and recycle unwanted material. It performed work on the demolition of the courthouse, Greyhound bus terminal and General Hospital.
Among the initial members of the group are Gerry Garvey of CMA Real Estate and former owner of the King Eddy; lawyer Ross Kaplan, McLeod& Company; Jim Greenan, Tom Capital Associates; Ed Romanowski, Bellstar Hotels and Resorts; Mike Nicholson, EllisDon; Earl Adelman, Barclay Street Real Estate; and John Conrad, president of the Calgary Vipers.

The club's first big venture is a golf tournament at Redwood Meadows on June 25. Representing the two cities at the tailgate party will be Spolumbo's and Winnipeg's answer to our favourite sausage maker and deli, Salisbury House, along with Earl Barish, who founded Dickie Dee Ice Cream and is president of B'nai Brith Canada.

Calgary Winnipeg Club boasts no membership fee. It's hoping to raise a lot of money that will all be distributed to the Jewish Community Club and a number of charities in both cities.

David Parker appears Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or e-mail
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